Arts, science and history programs across the community will get a boost thanks to a $200,000 challenge grant announced Saturday by Wells Fargo.
The bank plans to match donations to more than two dozen programs on Power2give.org, a fundraising site from the Arts & Science Council. Up to $400,000 could be raised through public donations and the banks match.
The projects range from money for scholarships for a summer music and drama workshop for students by OperaCarolina to funds to repair the Firebird sculpture outside of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art to food for orphaned birds at the Carolina Raptor Center.
Jay Everette, community affairs manager for Wells Fargo, said the grant complements the banks corporate support of arts programs.
The biggest opportunity for us in making this grant was to invite the public to join us in supporting arts in our community, Everette said. There are three primary things that they do: they help educate, they entertain and they enhance quality of life.
The Arts & Science Council started the Power2give fundraising initiative in 2011 to find new ways to pay for arts programs and attract new donors. The organization said donors in Charlotte have contributed $650,705 to support 274 projects since the launch. Last spring, the Leon Levine Foundation announced a $150,000 challenge grant to support arts-education projects on the site.
The Wells Fargo grant was announced before a matinee performance of Peter Pan by the N.C. Dance Theatre, where $5 gift cards were placed on seats during the theatres to help jumpstart giving toward the campaign.
Everette was accompanied on the stage by Emily Ramirez, who portrays Tinkerbell in the production. He told the crowd one of the projects in the fundraising campaign could buy ballet shoes for performers, noting that Ramirez has gone through 25 pairs of shoes since June.
This is the second grant Wells Fargo has made toward the Power2give initiative. The bank previously provided a $100,000 grant for five projects from the Charlotte Symphony, including one to buy sheet music and instruments for students at Winterfield Elementary School.
Everette said the success of that program helped inspire the bank to offer another grant that would benefit all affiliate programs of the ASC.
Weve seen the power and the impact of the grant, he said.